"Who said she
Authorize the hit.

The words are quiet punctuation, firm and hard cool as they are cast out into the retro-culture illuminated dark. Jack's gaze is level and even and utterly unblinking as he lets it linger. The next are quieter, colder still - razors of flint tearing at the static noise of the apartment 'till they're the only thing left worth hearing.

"And who says I should give a damn?"

"You don't get why. Lian Pac, the Tongs, frakkin' Ares himself don't get why. Ain't your paygrade.
Mandarin: Understand

For the first time the ex-detec's tone is warning, curls of anger curling in whisps at the edges. And as he feeds his addiction, lighting up despite himself one is not sure if the act is to steady and soothe the burning nerves or perhaps simply to buy time. He exhales sharply, smoke churning from him like some old chinese dragon as he speaks.

Lian, a reference to her base of operations, The Stone Dragon
The Dragon is in it, whether she knows it or not. The Tongs, the Italians, the Russians - the balloon went up when
Aka Angel (THE Angel), Crimeboss of NC
Morningstar fell. One of the would-be godfather punks hit the Stone Dragon in Her Lair - you think the Tongs gonna stay on the leash after the Boss looses face like that? You think the Dragon's just gonna sleep while Her domain gets taken apart?"

"We ain't starting shit 'cept what's already been started. And while the powers that be try and take their piece out of each other, we take ours."

Jack turns, scanning out of the window for a long second before heading for the door, smoke and fire upon his breath as he checks his phone, a message blinking on the screen.

"Meet is at the Afterlife in twelve, we evaluate our readiness then - if we're good we go six to twelve after that. If not, we got two days. If you can handle the demo, do it - my tab."

And with that Jack will make to leave . . .

Key leans against the workbench, watching Gibson as he speaks. His face carefully neutral. On the small black and white, the credits are rolling.

When Jack finishes, Key says, “You know your business…” then still more quietly, “I see the targets are moving again.” His eyes flick for a second to the tv the letters in white announce THE END. Another premonition, I hope not.

“I’ll have the gear ready. See you at the meet in twelve.”

He locks the door after the ex cop leaves, sighing again for a moment. He turns back to his workbench and begins checking over his gear, making sure that every tool is accounted for and working. As he works he talks quietly to no one.“Nope, no one ever wants to answer why. Like I said. The who, that’s just details. It’s the why thats interesting.”

Looking for the chips is no big deal, no one is going to take notice if he just wants some pharma and chem chips. He can go to his usual contact for that.

The detcord however, he doesn’t want to go to just any old street punk for that. No, he wants to use one of his old military requisition specialists to see if he can score some.

While he begins breaking down and cleaning his weapons, he pulls out a disposable cell and begins making some calls.

The calls, successful. Key sets up a meet for the chips and another for the detcord.

When it was time, Key checked his gear and grabs his helmet. He went downstairs and to the behind the auto garage, where he kept his van.

Key stayed on the local streets, avoiding the hotspots and meets with both contacts, paying for the 2 sets of pharma and chem chips. His final meet with his old navy buddy goes well. They sit and talk about old times, having known each other since boot camp. They both mentioned Del, killed so horribly in Central America. Eventually Key paid for the detcord and drove back home with a long indirect route.

Checking the time to figure his time table, Key checked out the quality of the
Dice Roll: 1d10+12
d10 Results: 10 (Total = 22)
chips and the
Dice Roll: 1d10+12
d10 Results: 10 (Total = 22)
detcord before slotting in the chips.

He grabs a few hours of sleep and after waking and showering, he finishes getting ready. Finally he grabs his jacket and wraps his assault rifle in it to move it down to his van. He hides the rifle in a modified undercarriage location on the van - easy access outside if he needed it.

After Key leaves the Aftermath, he finds a noodle stand and grabs some noodles and some dumplings.

He goes over and stands near the newstands. He reads the headlines while he gobbles up the food; shaking his head at the antics of the pundits.

He tosses out the containers in the trash can and heads home.

On the way, he makes some calls to the kind of folks who can't keep their mouths shut; especially when you tell them to.

Yeah we'll get the word out; but it'll seem like it came from someone else.

Key had spent the past several days laying low, drinking too much and getting to some of those little projects that you never get around to...

He watched too much anime and had to go for a few runs and swims to burn off the nervous energy.

Finally he settled for checking the ammunition loads of each of his weapons. "It's hard working with a team again." He said to the room. The room didn't answer.

He thought back to his time in service. Remembering the inevitable pain of camaraderie. He worked on his reflex exercises. Ever since he got off the drugs, he had lost a part of his edge. Reflex training that Fixit had found for him to do had helped. The shaking had stopped but he could still feel the loss.

He decided talking to his reflection since the room was being stubborn. "You thought you were invulnerable, you dumb ass."

It was true, he had come out of the service, still feeling invincible. Even with the arm. Even though his friends had died. Partied hard, played hard, fought hard. But his luck had run out, when he got hooked on 'Dorph...

His phone chirped, Key scooped it up and answered. Showtime... Enough of this introspective crap.

His self pity forgotten or at least shoved to the back of his mind. He gathered his gear, picked up his helmet and gun bag.
Before he left he put Ghost In The Shell on playback continuously. He thought it would be nice to come home to Motoko.

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